Today Wednesday Writers welcomes Barbara M. Britton back to the blog. Barb writes Biblical fiction and brings little known Bible characters to light in her Tribes of Israel series. Today she’ll be talking about some women who helped rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. Interesting info, I didn’t know, or remember. Welcome, Barb.
Wonder Women in Nehemiah’s Adventure
I have taught the book of Nehemiah many times in Sunday School. My students stacked boxes to simulate Nehemiah and the Israelites restoring the wall around Jerusalem. What I missed during all those years of teaching, was that young women helped Nehemiah rebuild Jerusalem’s wall. Nehemiah 3:12 mentions the daughters of Shallum as construction workers. How did I miss this fact? We don’t know how many daughters Shallum had, or how they were named, but I bring Adah and her sister Judith to life in my novel Jerusalem Rising.
I also missed another woman who played a role in Nehemiah’s story. How did I overlook a prophetess? There aren’t many women prophets mentioned in the Bible. Ten women are named as having this title, and one is Noadiah from Nehemiah 6:14. Unfortunately, Noadiah is infamous. Nehemiah asks God to remember her, not for her help in building the wall, but for her shenanigans in trying to thwart Nehemiah’s success. Noadiah was called out for trying to intimidate Nehemiah. Why would a prophetess of God work against a man God had called to restore Jerusalem? We may never know this side of heaven.
Nehemiah faced foes inside the city of Jerusalem—like Noadiah—but he also faced foes from outside the city. Enemies abound in the book of Nehemiah and I enjoyed tying their journeys together in my latest novel.
How about you? Are you familiar with the story of Nehemiah, the daughters of Shallum, or the naughty prophetess Noadiah?
by Barbara M. Britton
When Adah bat Shallum finds the governor of Judah weeping over the crumbling wall of Jerusalem, she learns the reason for Nehemiah’s unexpected visit—God has called him to rebuild the wall around the City of David.
Nehemiah challenges the men of Jerusalem to labor on the wall and in return, the names of their fathers will be written in the annals for future generations to cherish. But Adah has one sister and no brothers. Should her father who rules a half-district of Jerusalem be forgotten forever?
Adah bravely vows to rebuild her city’s wall, though she soon discovers that Jerusalem not only has enemies outside of the city, but also within. Can Adah, her sister, and the men they love, honor God’s call? Or will their mission be crushed by the same rocks they hope to raise.
“So that is why you came?” She shifted her lamp. “Not to collect taxes but to set up an office here and bring in workers to rebuild the wall?”
He nodded. “You found me inspecting the wall tonight. The City of David will be a stronghold again.” The shadows dancing on his face could not soften his stare, which bore into her gaze like a hammered tent peg. “This wall will rise and these gates will be secured. God has made it clear to me what we must do.”
She trusted God. Or at least she had before her mother’s eyesight darkened. A year ago she had prayed for a miracle from God for her mother. No healing came. And where was the rain? She had prayed for showers for the fields. Othniel had prayed. Her father had prayed. The soil remained parched. People went hungry. But if Nehemiah had truly heard God’s voice, perhaps Adonai was showing His favor to His people once again.
“When will the stone masons arrive?” She didn’t know much about resurrecting a wall, but the king had renowned craftsmen.
“King Artaxerxes gave me letters for safe passage and a leave from the palace. I have access to the forests in the south. But as for workers, those already living here will secure this city.”
Her shoulders sagged. “We have no army. The drought has left families without food and coin—
“Adah.” His address held a tone of chastisement. “Do you believe in God’s provision? In answered prayer?”
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About the Author:
Barbara M. Britton lives in Wisconsin and writes Christian Fiction for teens and adults. She has a nutrition degree from Baylor University but loves to dip healthy strawberries in chocolate. Barb brings little known Bible characters to light in her Tribes of Israel series. You can find out about Barb’s books on her website, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.